The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 216

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin

**Chapter 216: For a New Order (2)**

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who has come here for the future of the empire, despite being busy with the affairs of your own territories,” Violet said, slightly lifting her skirt in a dignified curtsy.

“Before we start the meeting, I would like to ask one thing,” she added.

At that moment, Duke Gillian Barrens, who was sitting at the center of the meeting table, raised his hand to ask a question.

“Is the host of this conference the royal family, or His Majesty the Emperor himself?”

“I do not see the intent behind your question. Our royal family acts on the will of His Majesty the Emperor, and His Majesty is an evident member of the royal family. Therefore, naturally, would not this meeting also contain His Majesty’s will?” Violet responded with a nonchalant tone, as if questioning what the issue was.

“However, His Majesty has long since withdrawn from state affairs. Some even rumor that His Majesty is utterly unaware of the current state of affairs in the empire. We are vassals to His Majesty the Emperor, not vassals to the princess.”

It was a bold statement that highlighted the speaker’s loyalty to the Emperor.

However, Violet nodded as if understanding their sentiments.

“I am well aware of your uncertainties. You must be wondering whether the royal family intends to consume the Order of the Light through a reorganization of the knights, or whether, taking advantage of the Emperor’s illness, I am aiming to establish a new order within the empire. However, to answer your concerns upfront: that is not the case.”

Caught off guard by her hasty acknowledgment, some nobles’ eyes gleamed.

“The Order of Salvation is not there to maintain the influence of the royal family. Its mission is to maintain peace across the continent, identical to what the previous Order of the Light stood by. Only now, the order they are based on is not that of light.”

Upon hearing this, another noble from the front seats raised his hand.

It was Count Dayden of Averico, the head of the Averico county.

“I have heard that a scripture glorifying the black mist has been distributed throughout various territories and cities by the imperial court. I believe there is no one here who is unaware of this fact.”

Most nobles nodded in agreement.

“Why would the royal family, that seeks a new order, cause confusion among the people with such baseless scriptures? What purpose did you have in promoting such an event? You must explain it to us at this venue.”

Count Averico presented the scripture in question as if to prove his point.

Just as some nobles seemed ready to support his claim,

*Swish!*

Suddenly, one of the knights guarding the conference proceeded with an unexpected act, climbing onto the conference table.

The startled nobles were confused for a moment until, ultimately, the knight unsheathed his sword and planted it into the table’s surface, manifesting his mana.

“Get down from the table!” a noble cried out, sensing a threat, but by that time, a circular black curtain had already enveloped the area around the noble’s table.

“What’s happening here?”

“Is there no one outside?”

“I knew something like this would happen!”

While some were at a loss for what to do, others were trying to call the knights that were on standby outside, and some were glaring at where the princess was seated, as if they had expected this situation all along.

Their reactions to the sudden turn of events were diverse.

*Keeeng*

At that moment, a beam of light penetrated the black curtain before the nobles, revealing a woman wielding a sword who stepped forward.

“Haap!”

*Clang!*

With a shout, the woman swung her sword diagonally.

The knight who failed to block the strike was immediately thrown out of the curtain.

The black curtain he had created also vanished simultaneously.

“?”

The nobles were perplexed upon seeing the woman.

With her sparkling silver hair gallantly fluttering, the woman stood confidently atop the table.

Her sword seemed to exude a holy aura reminiscent of the divine armaments of a high god.

“Princess Arin?”

The owner of the sword was none other than the Fifth Princess, Arin Severus.

As if nothing had happened, she stepped down from the table and helped the fallen knight to his feet.

The nobles could only blink in confusion at this inexplicable scenario.

“I prepared a small spectacle to ease everyone’s tension. Was it to your liking?”

Upon saying this, Princess Violet looked around at them with a tranquility as if the world were at peace.

“Even so, haven’t you crossed the line?”

Overwhelmed by the situation, the nobles were at a loss for words.

*Suddenly*

Ever since the start of the meeting, Aschel, who had been sitting quietly, stood up and moved forward without a word. Without any greeting or explanation, he suddenly produced a golden sphere of mana.

The sphere soon transformed into the shape of a long sword, revealing the hidden divine armament in all its nobility.

The gathered nobles realized at once: This was no ordinary sword.

This was a divine armament gifted to humanity by the high god of light, Lumen Del.

It must be the holy sword Durandal.

“Those of you who know will understand,” Aschel said, gripping the summoned sword gently with both hands.

“Seven years ago, I crossed swords with my younger brother, the owner of the cursed sword. The shock that my beloved sibling was actually a follower of the mist was huge, but what pained me more was the fact that even with the power of this noble holy sword, I could not save him.”

Who wouldn’t know of such an event?

It had not only shocked the world but also sowed doubts about the mist among the people.

“Due to that, I lived every day trembling in anxiety. The fear that they could reappear at any time and that I alone could never defeat them weakened me further. But soon, I realized, to overcome them, we need the powerful faith…”

*Srueng*

Suddenly, knights guarding the meeting room simultaneously drew their swords.

Dozens of swords aimed at the ceiling shone with a gold light similar to Aschel and Arin’s swords, as if it was the power of replicated holy swords.

“The spreading of the scripture of mist was indeed done by our royal family. If you ask me the purpose, I would say it was to give strength to the real followers of the mist.”

Violet stepped forward once again after a brief retreat.

“What do you mean by that?”

“The scripture spread by the royal family has undoubtedly intensified people’s suspicion and doubt toward the mist. Thus, those who have inadvertently gained influence will soon reveal their true nature. They might carry out assassinations like before, or engage in even more heinous acts,” Violet explained.

Hearing the word ‘heinous acts,’ several nobles shivered.

“In that case, what should we do? Should we oppress and suppress them like in the past?”

No one could readily answer such a question.

The nobles could only wait for the princess to provide the answer to her own question.

“No, we must save them.”

Aschel proposed salvation as the answer.

“We use the power of light to save them and establish a new order. This is the direction we must take to maintain the current peace.”

“Does that mean, Lord Aschel, you intend to save even the real followers of the mist? Are you talking about that assassination group, the Mist?”

As soon as the word ‘Mist’ was mentioned, the nobles held their breath in unison.

How he answered this crucial question would give them a clue about the direction of the new order they were aiming to establish.

“There are various ways to save a person.”

“…?”

One couldn’t grasp the meaning of that answer all at once.

Aschel continued without paying any heed.

“I will share the power of this holy sword with all of you. If you don’t wish to receive it, you may pass it on to your guardian knights.”

“Is that truly possible?”

“Don’t you see it with your own eyes? The power shown by the princess and the knights just now is undoubtedly that of the holy sword.”

Before further questions could be raised, one more needed to be asked.

“Why do you wish to give it to us as well?”

Why?

Why would they share that power with them, who had nothing to do with the holy sword?

“The strength of the holy sword is magnified when people’s faith is united. Since I alone cannot harness people’s power, I need your help. With the power of this holy sword, you are to return to your territories and perform just one small act.”

“And what exactly is this small act?”

Aschel didn’t immediately follow with an answer but instead gave a brief pause.

“Please purify the influence of the mist that has formed in each territory through the scriptures.”

“…!”

At that moment, the nobles’ pupils shook violently as if they had heard wrong.

To ‘purify the influence of the mist’?

That couldn’t have been a mere linguistic use of purification as in cleansing away impurity.

Clearly implied in the sense of purification he spoke of was,

“Are you suggesting that we should kill the believers?”

“Kill” was indeed the meaning behind his words.

“As I said, the holy sword grows stronger when people’s faith is added to it. If people realize that the black mist they were wary of is indeed wrong, they will once again direct a stronger faith towards the light.”

“But that could accidentally harm innocent people…”

“There’s no need to worry. It was the same 60 years ago,” Aschel assured, as every noble seemed petrified by the suggestion except for one.

All except for Silica, who had been sitting calmly at the back of the meeting room the entire time. She was present not as the head of Mist but as the representative of the Nigrity county.

“We will thus forge another new order.”

Aschel lifted the holy sword he was holding with a dignified gesture. His sword shone with a unique light among the dozens of swords in the meeting room.

* * *

Exactly 100 steps from the main gate of the meeting room.

Dozens of knights stood piercingly in the middle of the hallway, brought personally by the nobles from their territories.

Focused on the meeting, they took no notice of anything else as they stood ready for any contingency.

*Bang clang*

Just as expected, a noise resounded from beyond the meeting room, like something gigantic rolling over.

Upon hearing it, the knights rushed toward the meeting room.

“Calm yourselves!”

As if on cue, the Imperial Knights blocked their way.

“How can we remain calm when we hear such commotion? Move aside at once!”

“No need for alarm. The situation is as planned. Everyone inside is safe, and should any issues arise, we, the Imperial Knights, will take responsibility!”

“Let us check, then!”

Those who sought to proceed and those who intended to block them. A standoff ensued between the knights, unwilling to yield.

Amidst the rising tension, I slipped quietly to one side.

Dodging the gazes, I appeared to turn around the left corner but then stopped in place, tapping the wall.

*thump thump*

The hollow sound hinted at an empty space, exactly what I was hoping for.

I immediately cast my secret technique.

“Shadow Dance 2nd Form: Spatial Transposition.”

*Swish swish*

As I murmured the spell, the mist stretched from my hand to the wall, enveloping me as if diving into wavy water and transporting me inside the wall itself.

After the Imperial Banquet, this is my second exploration of the secret passage.

Last time, I headed to the Crown Prince’s chambers to overhear their plans.

However, today my destination was not the chambers of the Crown Prince or the Second Princess, but beneath—underground.

In my past life, around this time, Aschel had convened with the Crown Prince to transform one of the palace shelters into a covert space utilized for their vile deeds.

To be precise, a workspace to plan those unpleasant acts.

Based on that knowledge, I proceeded, thinking this time would be no different.

And sure enough, there it was.

A familiar room juxtaposed right next to the shelter.

At first glance, the overpowering aura of magic gave it away, along with the unfamiliar scent of someone’s blood wafting through.

I immediately opened the door and entered.

“Ughhh…”

I was met with a foul stench of blood that seemed to have been festering for days, if not months, accompanied by faint groans of pain.

Soon enough, eyes laid upon a familiar face, marked from head to toe with wounds and a beard grown so long it could touch the floor—it seemed as if years, not months, had rotted away.

Well, not the encounter I had predicted, but I wasn’t particularly startled by it either.

Though familiar, it was hardly a welcome face.

Kellin Diego.

The loyal subject of Aschel whom I had once imbued with a new persona through magic.

“Si, Sir Sian?”

He too spotted me and called out with a voice full of desperation.

(To be continued.)

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